Today I am not focusing on flowers and chocolates. Today I have a heavy heart, grieving with so many I know who have lost loved ones.
In this last month alone, I have four friends who have lost loved ones, including my son-in-law whose grandmother passed away in a nursing home. He had not been able to see her for over a year due to the Covid ban.
Five months ago, I lost my own mother to cancer.
It seems like every few weeks I have been getting news in my circle of friends and family of another loved one who has passed away, so I decided to make a list of those who had lost loved ones in this past year. I was surprised when my list reached eighteen. And that does not count the ones who passed away a little over a year ago, or those who I met through a hospice bereavement group. And it does not count those I know who are grieving as they are trying to coordinate end of life care for their loved ones from a distance, banned from seeing them face to face.
Out of the eighteen, four were related to me, and a few more felt like family. Like Helen, my sweet next-door neighbor who was an adopted grandmother to all the children living on my little dead-end street, including my own four children. I miss hanging out on our front porches sharing stories and photos.
If my number is this high, I suspect that every person reading this post has lost a loved one this year or knows someone who has.
What is this post about grief doing on a blog dedicated to sharing inspiring stories? You may be thinking. What could possibly be inspiring about grief?
Through grief I have experienced a greater depth of emotion, have been drawn closer into the presence of God, and have grown in my capacity to share in the pain of others. To me, that is inspiring.
Please allow me to share some Bible verses with you that have been particularly encouraging to me this year.
The first one is Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (ESV) No matter how much you are hurting, how crushing your grief feels, or how broken and changed your life feels from your loss, God is with you.
A New Testament illustration of this concept is found in that familiar little verse, “Jesus wept." John 11:35 (ESV) Taking it in the context of the story, Jesus is weeping with his dear friends, Mary and Martha, over the death of their brother, Lazarus. Run with your grief to Jesus, my friend, he grieves with you.
Psalm 121:1-2 is another Scripture which gives me great comfort. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (ESV) This is a verse that I take quite literally. When I am distressed, I hike on the trails in the hills near my house, crying out to God and gaining strength and healing with each step. But if you can’t literally take to the hills, this verse is a great reminder to seek comfort from the Creator of life. Let God bring peace to your soul through His beautiful creation.
One last Bible verse I would like to share with you is one that my sister and I posted in large letters directly in front of my mother’s recliner to encourage her in the last few months of her life. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore. . .” Rev.21:4 (ESV)
I know that my mother was a woman of faith who long ago trusted in Jesus as her Savior. Though I miss her terribly, I would not wish her to be back in pain again. It gives me much hope and comfort to know that she is in a place with no sorrow or pain, and that some day we will be reunited.
And so, my dear friend, I am grieving with you and praying that God will comfort you. Do you have any favorite Bible verses that give you comfort in your grief? I would love to hear from you through FB, email,* or the contact page on InspirationalLee.com.